By Dr. Robert Moon
Did you know you can save both money and water just by taking a little time to manage your irrigation system? If you set your irrigation automatically and never change run times and number of days to operate throughout the year, this can be very expensive with the current water rates. The more water used, the greater the cost and the use of water, a valuable resource, which needs to be a concern for all of us!
It might seem difficult to set and re-set the irrigation controller, but it is not that hard. You will need to read the instruction manual for your controller. You can find this manual in the garage on in your homeowner information packet. This is the number one complaint I hear from homeowners, but it is not difficult. Now practice! Go to the garage and practice. You will find it as easy as setting your DVR or your IPhone.
Manually setting your irrigation controller is so important because this is the way you can save the most dollars and water. It makes good sense to only run water when plants need the water! You will find that there are many weeks and even months during the rainy season and winter that you can leave your system turned to “off.” By doing this, you can experience savings up to $1000 per year on your water bill depending upon seasonal changes and weather for each year. When you are on vacation or it is a busy time of the year for you, go ahead and operate the system automatically.
If you are wondering how to set the irrigation system taking into consideration seasonal changes in plant water needs, you will find important seasonal irrigation recommendations online and in your homeowner’s packet. This information gives run times and number of days to water. If you cannot find this information, contact your builder or the First Residential Representative and they can provide this information. If you follow the seasonal water schedule, you will save over $700 per year.
Go ahead, read, learn, practice and set your irrigation controller for the season or better yet, operate manually and start planning how you can best use that extra $700 to $1,000 per year savings.